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Independents' Day

Why GP won't duck MMR-autism TV row

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick has refused to 'run scared' from a controversial television debate on MMR and autism that has been boycotted by the Government, the RCGP and leading experts in the field of vaccines and paediatric medicine.

Dr Fitzpatrick, a GP in north London who has a son with autism, said he was determined to give the 'vociferous anti-MMR camp' a run for their money.

He admitted it was a 'grizzly experience' taking part in the prerecorded debate, to be screening following a controversial docudrama on the fall-out of Dr Andrew Wakefield's research.

Hear the Silence and the debate will be aired on Channel 5 on December 15. Dr Wakefield, formerly of the Royal Free Hospital in London and now working in America, takes part in the debate.

Dr George Kassianos, RCGP immunisation spokes-man and a GP in Bracknell, Berkshire, turned down an invitation to be involved in the debate because the film was 'very one-sided' and 'written specifically to show the whole medical establishment to be wrong and unsympathetic'.

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